It's not easy getting the public to participate in local government, so you have to give credit when public officials try new ways to spur engagement.
But there are right ways to do it. Twitter, Instagram, public Facebook pages are all good ideas.
Private, closed Facebook groups not accessible to the general public is the wrong way to do it.
A closed Facebook group emerged last month apparently created by members of the Planning Commission. The group is described as "a communication tool with parties interested in the work of the Downey Planning Commission."
Admission to the group, however, requires a personal invitation. And there is a warning that the group "will not accept anonymous or unattributed posts, nor uncivil or foul language."
To be clear, a private Facebook group created by planning commissioners to discuss city business sounds like a bad idea.